This is the week that KE Flatwork, who was awarded the project bid, began construction on phase one of the Mississippi Corridor project. The first work will close the road from the south side of Sycamore street to Pine street. The project for Phase A1 is scheduled to be completed by August 31, 2017.

During the public meeting on May 2, 2017, Jim Edgmond stated that the city will utilize standard flood routes and traffic will be detoured via Eighth street. “After reviewing the plan with the contractor and looking at our flood routes, we felt that this was the right way to do it, and we can have one detour for the entire project,” Edmond said.

He also discussed how the city has created a stronger means of communication. “We have a construction section on the website, This includes an interactive map that will have live updates as to the progress of the project.” Lucas Kluever of KE Flatwork stated, “Every week we will have project meetings with the city and businesses to make sure that we are as accommodating as possible.”

Local business owners were in attendance at the public meeting. Mark and Robin Mitchell, owners of Contrary Brewing, were in attendance and will be significantly affected by the project. “The city has been more than willing to work with us and do their best to make sure that our customers and vendors will have access to our facility. We have definite concerns, but we feel that we will be able to give our input throughout the project,” said Mark Mitchell.

Tom Meeker is excited about the project. “I love the whole project. I love progress. Of course there will be headaches along the way, but when it is complete, it will be a great thing for downtown.”

The construction project will not affect the Fourth of July Parade or Fireworks. “At this time, the construction project should have minimal effect on the celebration,” said Edgmond.

C.P. Rail also is involved in the project. When they completed their track renovations, it made the crossings at Cedar and Iowa streets out of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. As a result, C.P. Rail is contributing four million dollars to the project to pay the necessary ADA upgrades.